The Mitsubishi Mirage represents the ideal vehicle for big cities thanks to diminutive design, high fuel economy and low curb weight. Mitsubishi announced plans last week for a late August release of the Mirage at dealerships throughout Japan. This model packs the latest eco-driving components into a small body including Eco Drive Assist, Auto Stop & Go and lightweight construction. The automaker noted that the Mirage will be available in E, M and G trim levels to accommodate almost any consumer. Mitsubishi established a retail price range between $12,800 and $16,500 for the Mirage, making the vehicle translatable to international markets.
Each trim level of the Mirage starts with a 51kW engine featuring the Mitsubishi Innovate Valve Electronic Control. The latest version of Mitsubishi’s continuously variable transmission (CVT) maximizes driving efficiency through optimized shifting. Electronic power steering provides a finer touch for street parking or tight turns and more power during high-speed lane changes. The Mirage design team used the company’s Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) architecture to achieve exemplary crash test scores while cutting curb weight.
Mitsubishi distinguished between the base E trim level and the more eco-friendly M and G versions. The Mirage E features the aforementioned components and achieves a fuel economy rating of 54.6 miles per gallon. Drivers who choose the Mirage M or Mirage G can expect 64 MPG during their commutes, representing the highest fuel economy among gas-powered vehicles sold in Japan. These trim levels use the Auto Stop & Go feature to shut down the engine at full stops and restart using electrical power. The Eco Drive Assist system assesses driving habits and conditions to provide tips on improving fuel economy. An estimated 5,000 orders have already been taken by Mitsubishi based on the Mirage’s eco-conscious design.
The Mirage is a proven commodity for Mitsubishi after a full release in Thailand earlier this year. Mitsubishi is currently fulfilling more than 33,000 Mirage purchases in Thailand after an aggressive marketing campaign. The Thai government approved subsidies for Mitsubishi’s production of the Mirage under the eco-car program. This success story should be replicated in Japan thanks to vehicle tax waivers available from the national government. Mitsubishi notes that the Mirage exceeds the country’s 2015 Fuel Efficiency Standards by 20% without high upfront costs. The Mirage will spread throughout Southeast Asia over the next year before heading to Australia, Europe and the Americas.
Substantial attention given to hybrid, electric and alt-fuel vehicles takes away from more basic solutions to dependency on gasoline. Engineers at Mitsubishi did not add expensive motors and batteries to the Mirage in order to achieve higher fuel economy. The Mitsubishi Mirage incorporates superior architecture and engine design to revolutionize the compact car. Added touches like Auto Stop & Go and Eco Drive Assist are not cutting edge but necessary to achieve high fuel economy. We should not hold up any particular alternative to traditional vehicles as the sole solution lest we grow equally dependent on that technology. A competitive marketplace where models like the Mirage offer a gateway into eco-friendly driving should be encouraged around the world.